The work an award-winning Milwaukee artist and educator will be featured on the next exhibition at Lakeland University's Bradley Gallery.
Tom Berenz, assistant professor of painting and drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, will open a solo show with a reception on Friday, Jan. 25, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Bradley Fine Arts Building on the Lakeland campus. The exhibit will run through Feb. 22.
Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are both free and open to the public. The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when Lakeland is in session.
The exhibition will include approximately 20 acrylic and oil paintings, including some very large works, from 2015-18.
"My paintings are about my relationship to the world around me; cerebral and physical, intellectual and visceral," Berenz said. "I use the chaos as a metaphor to discuss personal, sociopolitical, environmental and ideological issues. Through the motif of confusion, I explore the existential self and examine personal narratives, with some being more literal and others more enigmatic.
"Notions of loss, place, memory, space and time are central as I reexamine personal experiences from my past and present. The imagery is in constant flux, but always returns to a pile. A pile is everything and it is nothing. It is a mound that once was and now isn't; a mass of information, both physical and metaphysical, organized and chaotic."
Berenz's work has been in numerous solo and group exhibits all over the Midwest for more than a decade. He's also been a frequent speaker, juror and reviewer. He has gallery affiliations in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Texas, California and Montreal, Canada.
Berenz received a bachelor of fine arts in graphic communications and painting from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a master of arts in painting from Northern Illinois University and a MFA in 2D from UW-Madison.
Learn more about him online at tomberenz.com.